Spokane has grown into a kid-friendly city in recent years and it always seems to be getting better. Between Downtown Spokane, North Spokane and South Spokane, there is always something to do or see for kids of all ages.
Riverfront Park was recently renovated to include some great new features for kids. The Ice Age Floods playground features exciting slides, climbing equipment and various other play structures geared for older kids. For younger children, try the Providence Playscape, an inclusive, sensory-focused playground with swings, sandboxes, and unique features that are handicap-friendly. During the wintertime, ice skating on the newly added Numerica Skate Ribbon is a must. If you’re not there in winter, it’s open for rollerblading and skating in the warmer months.
In addition to the new playgrounds, Riverfront Park boasts some classic attractions for kids of all ages. The splash pad at the entrance to the park is often filled with children during the summer. All year long you can ride the iconic Numerica SkyRide Gondola over the park and Spokane Falls for a fantastic view. Don’t miss the renovated indoor Looff Carousel, which is one of the most well preserved, hand-carved carousels in the country. And of course, no trip to Riverfront Park is complete without feeding the Garbage-Eating Metal Goat and taking a ride down the Big Red Wagon Slide. With all of the renovations Riverfront Park has undergone in the past few years, simply taking a stroll with your children might be just as exciting as some of the attractions.
Mobius Discovery Center
Right next to Riverfront Park you’ll find the Mobius Discovery Center, a museum for kids of all ages to play and experiment with a variety of science-focused exhibits. There is a separate gated area for babies and toddlers to crawl and discover, as well as a kids market and playhouse for toddlers and younger kids, various experimentation stations for older kids, and so much more.
Across the river from downtown is Kendall Yards, a newer mixed-use development featuring some fantastic restaurants and businesses. It’s a great place to take a stroll, enjoy the views of the Spokane River and grab a bite. Children and parents alike will enjoy visiting French Toast Baby, a charming small shop filled with aesthetic toys, books, and adorable baby clothes. Versalia Pizza is a great option for a kid-friendly lunch or dinner. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, try The Scoop, a local homemade ice cream shop, or make your way to Hello Sugar, which is right next to a small playground so your kiddos can get out that extra energy.
Spokane Arena is just a quick walk from downtown and Kendall Yards. In the winter you can catch a Spokane Chiefs hockey game with the family, or check the area schedule to see if there are any Disney on Ice, concerts, or other shows in town.
North Spokane has several activities to keep kids busy and it seems like there are always new opportunities to entertain the family popping up. Northtown Mall always seems to have something going on as well as various parks and recently renovated libraries.
Inside the Northtown Mall, you’ll find a few unique attractions. Get Air Trampoline Park is a great spot to spend a rainy day or just to escape the summer heat. It features a huge wall-to-wall trampoline yard, foam pits, and an obstacle course. The mall is also home to Spokane’s small aquarium, Blue Zoo, which has fish, sharks, reptiles, and a few mermaids if you’re lucky.
While there are some great restaurants in the mall, not too far down the road is Tomato Street, a Spokane classic known for its Italian food and servers with funny hats. Not only is the food great, but the atmosphere is child-friendly, and kids love checking out what the staff are wearing.
Indoor and Outdoor Activities
A little farther north you’ll find a few more great spots to take the family. Eagles Ice Arena is a rink that’s open year-round for open skating. If you have any animal lovers, Cat Tales Wildlife Center is a small, nonprofit animal rescue that houses various big cats and other animals. While it’s not very large, it’s a great way to spend a few hours. Wonderland Family Fun Center is also nearby and has mini-golf, go-karts, and some fun indoor games.
If you’re looking for some fresh air, North Spokane is home to a few parks and playgrounds. Audubon Park has a playground, splash pad, and some space to walk around. If you’re looking for a hike, drive farther up north to Riverside State Park which has trails, water access, and even campgrounds.
While Spokane’s South Hill is mainly residential, there are a few great spots for kids. Several parks, including the iconic Manito Park, as well as some fun, local eateries make the South Hill a popular destination.
Manito Park is one of the most well-known places in Spokane. The 90-acre park features two playgrounds, an expansive rose garden, a Japanese garden, a European Renaissance-style garden, a conservatory, and more. It’s a great space to wander around for a few hours, especially in the spring and summer when the flowers are in bloom. Other popular parks are Thorton Murphy Park, which has a splash pad, and Lincoln Park, which is great for an easy hike with kids.
Ice Cream and Activities
Not too far away is the original location of The Scoop, a small, local, homemade ice cream and waffle spot. The mom-and-pop atmosphere is inviting and is often busy during the warmer months.
During the summer, the Southside Family Aquatics Center is a popular place to cool down. It features water slides, a lazy river, and various other play structures. While the center is open to everyone, reservations have to be made online.
We hope you found a few ideas for kid-friendly activities in Spokane. Our city is constantly growing and developing, which means there are always more family-friendly spots on the horizon. Enjoy your time!
Cover photo: Visit Spokane (Facebook). Additional photos: Mobius Discovery Center (Facebook), Versalia Pizza (Facebook), Spokane Arena (Facebook), Cat Tales Wildlife Center (Facebook), Annessa Smith.